Sunday, November 17, 2013

The CA Family Play #9: "Flooded With Light"

Hello, my friends!

It's really happening.

Here is your invitation to the performances of the CA family play that I started working on earlier this year. Stan Richardson (the playwright) has titled it "Flooded with Light." Doesn't that sound amazing?

I'm overwhelmed at the prospect of having an audience see this (very personal) piece of art. Hope you'll be able to make it. To make a reservation email

Thanks for all your kind words of support throughout the process. Sending you all big love.


the representatives

Flooded with Light

a new apartment play

written by Stan Richardson
directed by Lee Sunday Evans
with David Rosenblatt, Matt Steiner & Marguerite Stimpson

A biting new play about zealotry, illicit love, and the costs of self-reinvention.
Wednesday, December 4th
Thursday, December 5th
Friday, December 6th
Saturday, December 7th
Sunday, December 8th

Wednesday, December 11th
Thursday, December 12th
Friday, December 13th
Saturday, December 14th
Sunday, December 15th

All performances at 8pm.


1 bottle of wine
(Please include a first and second choice.)
the representatives is the collaboration of playwright Stan Richardson and actor Matt Steiner. We make plays that come from our personal and political dreams and nightmares and we do it fast.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Adults (on paper) come clean about being lost...

Hey! Exciting new development in my creative life, guys!!!!...

I was recently interviewed about my experience applying to grad school, writing this blog and being a 30-something for a podcast called "Dirty 30 Something."

Here's a 3-minute YouTube Dirty30Something Podcast Teaser of what their show is like, just to give you a taste...So awesome!!!!

***Warning: This podcast is uncensored and appropriate for adult audiences only. (18+)***

If you're interested in listening to the episode(s) that I'm on, you'll hear...

  • some of the inside scoop about the creation of this blog 
  • some of the not-so-predictable residual lessons I learned while NOT getting accepted to grad school...again and again and again
  • fun/embarrassing stories from my younger days

All in my own words...(hardly knew what was coming out of my mouth during the interview, but it was fun, fun, fun.)

Hope you guys enjoy it. If you do...leave your comments below! If you don't...weeellll, then just keep it to yourself. ;-)

My interview is in two parts. Click on the links below to listen...

Episode 8: Meet Virginia

Episode 9: Too Cool For School


Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! Just open up your iTunes app on your phone or computer and search for "Dirty 30 Something." You'll see it.

Thanks to all of YOU for following along this journey with me.

Though grad school has not turned out to be my path, I truly believe (and have to keep reminding myself) that my creative path is unfolding just as it should.

Who knows what fantastic opportunity or challenge awaits us just around the corner!?

And if there's anything I can do to help you out with anything on your creative journey, please send me an email and let me know. (And for those of you applying for acting grad schools...Shhhhh! Now I'm available for PRIVATES...private coaching, that is.)

Wishing you creative growth on your own terms in your own time.


P.S. Special thanks to Nick and Marissa for having me on the Dirty30Something podcast!

***Unapologetic Plug Alert***

Do you love these two as much as I do? If so...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The CA Family Play #8: Trust

Our greatest collaborators are often our greatest friends.

This California Family Play is really happening!!!!

Matt Steiner, Stan Richardson and I had a meeting at MexiQ over some tacos and margaritas to discuss our experience of the research trip last month.

We all batted around our different perspectives and perceptions of our time there. That's what I LOVE about working with your friends, ya know? You can just feel free to be totally open and say whatever you feel...because you trust each other. There's a solid foundation of love and mutual respect.

Collaborative JOY!!!!!

I am so lucky to be working on this project with these guys and I can't wait to share it with YOU in the winter when we produce the actual PLAY.

I am terrified and exhilarated at the thought.

Thank you to all of my AMAZING family members were so welcoming, open and willing to participate by opening up their hearts and sharing their memories, thoughts and experiences with us.

Especially these brothers...Kevin, Steven and David (who is also the illustrator of this cartoon portrait.)


Can't wait to introduce you all to my family. I will keep you posted as more developments happen with the play and as soon as performance details are solidified.

Fun, right?


"The way you help heal the world is you start with your own family." ― Mother Teresa

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The CA Family Play #7: Enough...For Now

"Your creative endeavors can never be throughly mapped out ahead of time. You have to allow for the suddenly altered landscape, the change of plan, the accidental spark -- an you have to see it as a stroke of luck rather than a disturbance of your perfect scheme. Habitually creative people are, in E.B. White's phrase, "prepared to be lucky." - Twyla Tharp, The Creative Habit: Learn It And Use It For Life

Matt, Stan and I are waiting for our flight to board at SFO. The research trip portion of the yet-to-be-written-California-family-play is essentially complete.

As I write these words, thoughts are running through my mind of all of the dozens of people we did not talk to, all of the places we did not go, all of photographs that were not looked at and so on and so on.

Once you begin a project like this, you begin to realize the MASSIVE amount of source materials available to create from.

I cannot imagine being a biographer...studying someone's life and all the source materials surrounding them and trying to piece together anything resembling a "complete" picture of their life. It's just impossible. Impossible.

So...because creating a complete picture of the Wilcox family is something that cannot be done (and certainly not in a week...HA!), I will choose to believe that everything that Stan and Matt experienced was exactly enough...enough to get a sense, enough to spark an interest, enough to begin to make connections...

"What's next?" You ask.

1. Fly home to NY

2. Get back into swing of daily life again

3. Do NOT actively think about this week, just let it sink in.

4. Get together with Matt and Stan in a couple of weeks and have a post-trip-meeting to discuss our experiences (Probably over beers and BBQ beef brisket tacos at MexiQ)

5. Figure out the next step in the process to keep us rolling with this project (looking toward some kind of something workshoppy in the fall and some kind of something performance-ish in the winter)

I will keep you posted with the details as they become clear.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank all of my very brave and loving friends and family that have opened their hearts, memories, and homes to us on this journey so far.

Thank you to Matt and Stan for listening with curiosity, expressing empathy, putting up with my obsessive promptness, cracking jokes at all the appropriate (and inappropriate) moments, warm hugs and thoughtful conversations.

And thank you so much to all of YOU who have been following the blog this week and writing comments of encouragement. I promise to publish another post again in a couple of weeks to give you an update and let you know how our MexiQ meeting goes.

I think this project may turn out to be one of those things that I will look back on at the end of my life and think, "I'm really glad I did that when I had the chance." It's been a really meaningful process of for my family, sharing our stories with each other in the name of this creative endeavor.

As the Boston Marathon bombing reminds us, life is fragile and fleeting. Hug your loved-ones close today.

Oh! Gotta go. The plane is about to begin boarding.



"This above all -- ask yourself in the stillest hour of your night: must I write? [or act, or paint, or dance, or compose, etc.] Delve into yourself for a deep answer. And if this should be affirmative, if you may meet this earnest question with a strong and simple "I must," then build your life according to this necessity;  your life even into its most indifferent and slightest hour must be a sign of this urge and a testimony to it." - Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters To A Young Poet

Monday, April 15, 2013

The CA Family Play #6: Letter From 1950

Good morning, friends...

My grandparents passed away right around the time I turned 16. Grandma Pat loved music and art and was one of the most generous, kind-hearted human beings I have ever known. Grandpa James was highly intelligent, had three Master's degrees (in science, physics and education -- something like that), and was stoic man that didn't express emotion much. They both became school teachers. Pat taught elementary school and James taught high school science.

The following is an old letter that I discovered in a drawer of our family's cabin in Cobb Mountain, CA. It is written from my grandmother to my grandfather prior to their marriage and three children. (My father is their second born son.)

I believe my grandmother was living near Coalinga, CA at the time this letter was written and she must have been about 21 years old. I think my grandfather was studying at the University of New Mexico and was about to be deployed to Korea to serve in the war. That could be incorrect though. I don't know all the details for sure, but it's neither here nor there. The letter really speaks for itself.



J.Wilcox looking south on Westerly ridge of the Valley of the Moon

November 20, 1950

Dear James,

I've been thinking about us. Prepare for profound observations!

We don't talk the same language. I guess it's really just as simple as that; a matter of semantics. It's understandable, too. We've had different, very different backgrounds and bringing-up. You're an introvert, I'm not, at least not as much as you, though you're not as (much) as you used to be. I'm an idealist, you're a realist (except on rare subjects, no names mentioned).

Besides "bringing-up" in general, our life-experience in particular has been different. I can't fathom your needs, though I try. You don't understand mine, I know you try too. Your heartaches have been far removed from mine. Yet here we are groping around trying to reach each other. Our reasons for even this are different. No wonder I shriek with dismay and you call me stupid. 

Is it profound? At least it'll do till I find a better theory to go on. It's fun anyway to arrive at some kind of theory or postulate.

Hope you have your job by now, since that is what you hoped for. If you go to New York you can expect a letter from Mom with details of what you "can't miss" etc.

Foo on February. (I'm from the hill country.) I'm not going to ask any more questions. All I can say is, I hope Uncle Sam doesn't surprise you along about then.

We have been having diversified weather here. The King's river area is in critical flood condition. Millions of dollars of land, cattle & house losses are a result. (A cheerful bit of news from the West.)

Sorry I have no clever prattle or witty chatter to write. I'll refrain from making comments on your letter in lieu of our recent sordid experience as a result of my taking you to task.

Oh yes, a descant is an obligato or counter-melody, sung by solo voice (usually), against the rest of the choir singing the regular melody. Comprenez vous?

By the way - Please, may I correct the erroneous impressions you have - I do not dislike your singing. And pleas don't apologize for it - it's your gift and I  like it, use it all you can and want to. I'd like to hear you sing to me, for me, at me, with me, or even without any connection with me what-so-ever. Simply, I like to hear you sing. I'm glad you like to, too.

My very best love to you, right out of the top of my heart.

-- Patty

(I love you, Grandma! I miss you!) ~V

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The CA Family Play #5: Life Is Art, Death Is Certain

"Accomplishments are fleeting.  Your life will be over in the blink of an eye.  If there is a heaven, take some beautiful moments up there with you to remember.  Don’t sit in the sky thinking “I sure worked my way up the corporate ladder.”  Smile and laugh remembering your loved ones and the time you swam in the ocean and the broken umbrella kiss in the rain and the time you taught your child how to juggle.  And if there is a heaven, smile without regrets that your life was a piece of art and you treated it as such.  May you love in every moment and enjoy the temporary beauty of life." - Markus Almond, Brooklyn To Mars

Near death experiences that lead to spiritual awakenings that lead to a profoundly changed attitude toward life = reoccurring theme and topic of conversation this week

Hopefully, we won't be experiencing anything near death any time soon, but it's incredibly compelling and inspiring to hear about it after the fact.

Going through hard sh*t is how resiliency is developed.

On one wouldn't wish hardship on anyone, especially not someone you love...

But on the other hand...that very hardship is the thing that forces you to develop that strength of character, self-awareness, compassion and insight that'd you wouldn't get otherwise.

So, in a way, I'm glad for it, glad for the pain, glad for the opportunity to grow, glad for the awareness that is gained through tough experiences...for myself and for others. It's all a gift.

And once the sh*t has stopped hitting the fan for a second...

 I ask myself..."What really matters?"

"What do I want to do with this short time I have here on earth?"

"How do I keep my focus on what is truly important when the distractions of life are threatening to take up my every moment?"

I ask myself because I know that death could drop by my place at any time, so today I choose to live artfully...and love people as much as possible.


"We say that the hour of death cannot be forecast, but when we say this we imagine that hour as placed in an obscure and distant future.  It never occurs to us that it has any connection with the day already begun or that death could arrive this same afternoon, this afternoon which is so certain and which has every hour filled in advance."  - Marcel Proust

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The CA Family Play #4: Love Being Difficult

"People have (with the help of conventions) oriented all their solutions toward the easy and toward the easiest side of the easy; but it is clear that we must hold to what is difficult; everything alive holds to it, everything in Nature grows and defends itself in its own way and is characteristically and spontaneously itself, seeks all costs to be so and against all opposition. We know little, but that we must hold to what is difficult is certainty that will not forsake us;...that something is difficult must be a reason the more for us to do it." - Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters To A Young Poet

Every day of this trip has been emotionally exhausting...and I expected this. However, there is no doubt in my mind that all of this is well-worth the effort and I will continue without fail.

In the name of creating this "family play" I am hearing stories of my family members and friends that I've never heard before. It's overwhelming and exhilarating.

The skeletons in the closet are getting exposed to the light.

And not only that...the process of exposure is bonding us all together in LOVE and acceptance. And I am so grateful for this opportunity to deepen my connection with my family members and friends.

It is a gift to be able to use this opportunity to scratch beneath the surface and learn more about these human beings that have been so influential in my life.

I am fascinated hearing what comes up as soon as the convention of silence is broken.

"So, tell us about your relationship with the family..."

How would you answer that question for your own family? What is the first thing that comes to mind? What do you think your mother would say? Or your best friend from childhood? What are your most significant memories? Might you be surprised at the memories that others find significant? Or are you certain that you've heard it all before?


See what happens.

It may be difficult at first, but everything worth doing usually is.


"To love is good, too: love being difficult. For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation...Whoever looks seriously at it finds that neither for death, which is difficult, nor for difficult love has any explanation, any solution, any hint or way yet been discerned...But in the same measure in which we begin as individuals to put life to the test, we shall, being individuals, meet these great things at closer range. The demands which the difficult work of love makes upon our development are more than life-size, and as beginners we are not up to them. But if we nevertheless hold out and take this love upon us a burden and apprenticeship, instead of losing ourselves in all the light and frivolous play behind which people have hidden from the  most earnest earnestness of their existence -- then a little progress and an alleviation will perhaps be perceptible to those who come long after us; that would be much." - Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters To A Young Poet

Friday, April 12, 2013

The CA Family Play #3: My Nature

"Human interaction can be hell. Or it can be a great spiritual practice." - Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speaks

With this project. We are all discovering our roles as we go. It's like life, I suppose.

I'm coming in with an idea of what I'd like to do/be/create/reveal. But the process is unfolding in it's own way.

My constant struggle is to stay out of judgement with "how we are doing" in the moment. Sometimes I wish I could turn of the part of my brain that has such thoughts. But I can't...and that's the way it works and that's just fine. Gotta accept my process.

It's an odd thing, to be both a "subject" and a "collaborative participant" in this endeavor. But that's the nature of my role, I suppose. To deny one or the other would be inauthentic. And I greatly value authenticity.

~~~ øøø <> øøø ~~~
"When walking or resting in nature, honor that realm by being there fully. Be still. Look. Listen. See how every animal and every plant is completely itself. Unlike humans, they have not split themselves in two. They do not live through mental images of themselves, so they do not need to be concerned with trying to protect and enhance those images. The deer is itself. The daffodil is itself." - Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speaks
~~~ øøø <> øøø ~~~

Matt & Stan & I spent the morning wandering around Muir Woods National Monument.

I took them there because Muir Woods is a special haven of peace for me. When I used to live in San Rafael, just 15 minutes from the redwood forest, I'd bring my journal there, find a lonely log and pour out my soul on the page as often as possible.

Where do you go to feel connected to nature?

I love the smell of redwood trees.

Breathing in the clean air that the trees exhale brings comfort to my heart and clarity to my scattered mind. Sensing the support of the towering trees above helps me to feel connected to something larger and more eternal than my petty worries of this moment.

The temperature = absolutely perfect.

In the serenity of this beautiful place, I gave myself permission to crack my heart wide open and share many things with Stan and Matt that I hadn't discussed with anyone in yeeeeeears. (It was like a redwood forest therapy session. Ha!)

I'd tell you about our conversation in more detail, if I could...but I'm still processing it all. I really don't know what to say...other than...well, feeling vulnerable is scary.

Then, later on, we spent the evening at a local restaurant, hanging out and socializing. I had invited a few friends and family to stop by and enjoy a drink. It was nice to get to be with people that I hadn't seen in a long time and introduce them to Matt and Stan.

After a long, emotional morning of walking down my own personal memory lane (and all the rocky ground on that pathway). Honestly, it was a relief not to be the "subject" for a while...but to get to ask questions and listen to other people's stories.

Oh, boy! More stories will be told and experienced today. Whew! It's exciting...and exhausting.

Just gotta keep moving forward...and staying open...accepting life's situations as they come. Who knows what will happen next?

Thanks for reading.


P.S. If you're curious about any part of this process, please feel free to leave me a question in the comments and I'll try to address it in a future post.

"DANCE with fear. Dance with done. Dance with the resistance. Dance with each other. Dance with art." - Seth Godin, V is for Vulnerable

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The CA Family Play #2: Memory Attack

"The first steps of a creative act are like groping in the dark: random and chaotic, feverish and fearful, a lot of busy-ness with no apparent or definable end in sight...I look like a desperate woman, tortured by the simple message thumping away in my head: "You need an idea"...You can't just dance or paint or write or sculpt. Those are just verbs. You need a tangible idea to get you going. The idea, however minuscule, is what turns the verb into a noun -- paint into a painting, sculpt into sculpture, write into writing, dance into dance. Even though I look desperate, I don't feel desperate, because I have a habitual routine to keep me going. I call it scratching. You know how you scratch away at a lottery ticket to see if you've won? That's what I'm doing when I begin a piece. I'm digging through everything to find something." - Twyla Tharp, The Creative Habit

I'm home in the Bay Area now.


I say, "home" though it doesn't really feel like my home anymore, though it is a beautiful place, a familiar place, a place that I love, appreciate and enjoy...

And one that gives me anxiety attacks of unexpected memories around every single corner.

As I began the drive from SFO to Walnut Creek, just the act of being in the driver's seat and turning onto the freeway onramp, I was reminded of the hundreds of times I had done that very same thing years ago...only...back then the person in the passenger's seat was my ex-boyfriend...the one I thought I was going to marry and spend the rest of my life with.

"Yeah. That guy, Virginia. Remember him?"

The memories of our 6 years in a relationship together flooded back all at once.

What the heck was happening to me!?

I couldn't breathe.

My heart was pounding in my chest.

My hands were sweating and gripping the steering wheel for dear life.

Adrenaline pumping through my veins.

I gasped loudly with surprise, so much so that my friends and creative collaborators Matt and Stan (unlucky passengers in my vehicle) turned to me to see what had happened.

Nothing had happened...well, not in this moment...But EVERYTHING had happened...years ago. And now, I was OVERWHELMED with the memories of a life that I had once lived, and if I had made different choices back then...I could be living a VERY different life right now...probably still in the Bay Area and probably still with him.

Whew! INTENSE...and very surprising.

I didn't come here with the intention of reflecting on HIM...I came here to think about my family and be with THEM!

"What in the world is my brain doing to me? Why am I thinking about him? Why can't I seem to control it?"

I do NOT like this feeling.

I went from "totally fine" "emotionally distressed and missing him terribly," (like I haven't felt in YEARS) in about 0.2 seconds.

Very interesting.

I don't think of my ex-boyfriend very often in my current New York reality and there are very few physical landmarks there to trigger my memories of him.



"Well...this is what you wanted, Virginia. To come here and see what happens...Well, guess what? You are having painful memories of a past relationship that ended. THAT IS WHAT IS HAPPENING. So don't resist it."

So I started telling Matt and Stan all about the source of my powerful gasp for air and my memories of heartbreak and thoughts of woulda-coulda-shoulda.

And it sparked a great discussion between the three of us...with Matt and Stan sharing their personal stories and similar feelings.

We were all sharing our nostalgia and longing for a time when you used to be able to open your heart with reckless abandon, before your heart had been wounded, before mistakes had been made, before you became jaded and closed-off to the simple beauty and tender romance of youth. When had our views of love become so utilitarian, practical and pragmatic? Was all-consuming love even possible for us in our 30s? Or was that something that we'd never be able to experience again? Would any of us even want to?

(Any thoughts, feelings or stories you'd care to share in our discussion? The comments section of this blog is always available to you, if you so desire.)

I have a feeling that this is only the beginning of these kinds of fantastic discussions, sparked by unexpected realizations and surprising visceral reactions to seemingly innocuous things.

Inspiration is everywhere...even in the painful moments...maybe...ESPECIALLY in the painful moments.

And that's my method of "scratching," I suppose (as Twyla describes above).

The pain, the emotion, the strong reaction...means that there is something THERE...something underneath the surface, and if I just scratch a little deeper...perhaps we can find something there...a story...reflecting an authentic human experience...and that by sharing that story we can create connections between us. And bring us all closer...and spark some empathy in this world of separateness...some compassion in this world of judgement.

But I'm getting a head of myself.

For now...let's just take a breath and get to Walnut one piece.


"VULNERABLE is the only way we can feel when we truly share the art we've made. When we share it, when we connect, we have shifted all the power and made ourselves naked in front of the person we've given the fit of our art to. We have no excuses, no manual to point to, no standard operating procedure to protect us. And that is part of our gift." - Seth Godin, V is for Vulnerable: Life Outside the Comfort Zone

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The CA Family Play #1: Time To Evolve

"When you get to the end of all the light you know and it's time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: either you will be given something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly." - Edward Teller

Good morning, my friends...

It's 3:30am right now in New York City. I am about to pack a suitcase and get on an plane to fly to California with two of my dearest friends (Stan Richardson and Matt Steiner) to embark on a brand new project that is going to be an incredible adventure.

An adventure that I'm going to share with YOU!

What's this trip to CA about, you ask?

Stan Richardson of The Representatives will be writing a play inspired by a one week visit to my hometown of Walnut Creek, CA, and his time spent meeting my family. Matt Steiner will be along for the ride as Stan's research assistant.

Is that crazy, or what?

A play inspired by my family.

I mean...What the hell are we doing? I have no idea, really...well...I have an IDEA...

It's a new experiment in play-making...a "theatrical portrait" of some kind, but what it will actually turn out to be is not so clear.

However, I do know that it is time for me to EVOLVE as a creative person...beyond applying to grad school.

So I've decided not to over-think this (okay maybe there was a little over-thinking involved) and to SNAG this amazing opportunity that presented itself to collaborate with people that I love and trust and respect on this creative project that I am supremely passionate about. (More on the origins of this project later perhaps...)


"Do what you love. Love what you do. Do it lovingly and with people who love YOU." That's my motto for this project.

Since I am all about PROCESS...and SHARING it on my blog helps me reflect on that process... (BIGTIME)

I will be blogging every day for the next week about the process of immersing myself in this CA family  research trip and telling you all about how the adventure unfolds and how it feels to take this journey...

Imagine what it might be like to take a playwright to meet YOUR FAMILY and introduce him to your hometown and your past.... all the memories and places that helped to shape you becoming who you are now...all in the name of inspiring some kind of play, some story that will reveal itself...finding a story that needs to be told!

Creative inspiration is everywhere if we're just open to recognizing it.

So wish us luck!!! I'll be in touch... See you in CALIFORNIA!

But for's a little after 4am and I have not packed a single item yet...true story. So I'd better get on that, because Matt and Stan will be here to pick me up in an hour and 15 minutes.

This is about to get REAL, people.

Ahhhhhh! Exciting!


"You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith, and hope." - Thomas Merton

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Update #6: These Years Have Not Been Wasted

"The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive." - J.K. Rowling

Finally got my email from NYU yesterday...I'm going to call it my "release" letter.

An odd feeling came over me as soon as I read these words:

"I want to thank you for applying to the NYU Graduate Acting Program this year.  We have nearly finished with our process of selecting the class of 2016, and we are releasing those who, like yourself, were in a pool of people who remained, after auditioning nearly 800 actors."


I have been released.


After four years of unwavering focus and effort to obtain a goal that meant so much to me, I am being set free.

I thought that at this point I'd be sad, but I wasn't. I mean, my ego was bruised, certainly. It would have felt great to my ego to be one of the "chosen." But will that ego boost sustain me through the next three years of grad school and approximately $180,000 in debt?....Nope.

And then the strangest thing shoulders relaxed and I felt energized, excited to be alive. Who knows what's going to be next for me? But I know one thing that will not be happening for me: grad school.

Hooray! (No JOKE.) Hooray!

I knew that I had really given this application process my ALL (FOUR YEARS of my all), trying and applying to make it into one of the top grad schools in the country (NYU, Yale, Juilliard, USD).

And now it is over. It is out of my system.

What I mean to say is...If you haven't already gotten ahead of my train-of-thought here... I will not be auditioning for grad school next year.

Whew! What a RELIEF!!!

And then the negative self-talk starts to speak up..."Oh, man! Am I a total loser or what? Everyone who reads my blog knows that this is the thing that I set out to do...and now I have to admit that it didn't happen...again! What will they think of me? What do I think of me? Am I giving up? Am I a quitter? Ugh! What did I do all this for? Does this mean I have wasted these past four years pursuing this path?"

"Robert McKee says great storytellers often don't hit their stride until later in life because they have to have spent a massive number of house mastering the craft; they also need to have lived enough outside the pursuit of their craft to have something worth saying -- either that or they must have devoted them selves to going deep inside to cultivate what McKee calls a "ruthless self-knowledge" that they can draw upon...It takes years to master a craft, from building a business to writing music. But craft alone doesn't get you there. Genius requires craft plus insight." - Jonathan Fields, Uncertainty

Note to self: these years have not been wasted.

What I have been gaining throughout this process is some f#^ing RUTHLESS self-knowledge. And, right now, I do feel like I have something to say about it. (Hence this blog.)

Life outside of "the craft," well, that's been kicking my ass in ways that (I think) only being a single girl in NYC can. So there's more ruthless self-knowledge there.

As for "the craft," I will continue to study and work and pursue mastery of the craft of acting my whole life, because I love it and because it's fun.

So, for now, I'm going back to zero, to the drawing board, to the beginning, to whatever-you-want-to-call it and starting from scratch again...But not with an attitude of defeat, but with an attitude of HOPE.

I can take all this ruthless self-knowledge and resiliency that I've learned from this four-year smack-down and use it to create some success somewhere else in my life and in my career.

Here are some starting-from-scratch questions for me (for all of us):

What do you want to create? 

What if you succeed? What would that be like? 

What does your new story line of success look like to you?

"See it, feel it, touch it, smell it, taste it. Make it as sensory and alive as possible. Picture yourself in that place. What are you working on? With whom? Where are you? What does your day look like? For some it's possible to get very specific. For others, especially in the earliest stages of an endear, it's more about bigger-picture qualities. If you feel compelled to create great art, you may not have a clear picture of the vehicle or medium quite yet, but you can imagine how it will feel to create and present art that moves people...If you're and entrepreneur, you may not know what you're going to crate or how you're going to solve the problems of the marketplace, but you can envision what it will feel and look like to have crated a solution that blows peoples' minds and changes their lives, to have created an organization steeped in mentoring and compassion and a culture of joy, innovation, and energy. You can imagine where your workplace will be and what it will look like once you've accomplished what you dream of doing. Paint the picture. Make it real. And make that your predominant story line." - Jonathan Fields, Uncertainty

Happy dreaming!

Thanks for reading and for all of your support and encouragement through this entire (crazy) process.

Hope your next chapter is filled with every imaginable joy and...


All the best,

P.S. For those of you that are still trying to figure out for yourself...if you want to stick it out or if you are ready to move on, I'd like to recommend Seth Godin's book The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When To Quit (And When To Stick). It won't give you any answers, but it'll ask you some AMAZING questions...and the answers you will find inside yourself.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Update #5: Silver Linings

“When life gives you lemons, you don't make lemonade. You use the seeds to plant a whole orchard - an entire franchise! Or you could just...drink lemonade someone else has made, from a can.” - Anton St. Maarten

Hi Kids!

Here's the latest "what's happening with grad school" update for those who are interested...

Yale =  Not happening (old news)
Juilliard = Not happening (old news)
USD Old Globe = Not happening (rejection letter received in the mail yesterday)
NYU = Still Pending (on the waiting list, but not feeling optimistic)

Sooooo....My Old Globe rejection letter was received yesterday.

When I got home, there was a pile of mail sitting on the table and a package from a friend.

I saw the envelope from USD and my heart jumped up into my throat. I knew exactly what it was before opening it.

"F*^k." I said. Actually, it was more like..."F*^kity, f@#kin'-A. Really? F%^k."


Double sigh.

Rip open letter to confirm suspicions.


Scanning...."Thank you for your interest and participation in the application process for fall 2013...blah, blah, blah....We wish we had more positions to offer...wish you well wherever your future plans may take you."



Staring at my shoes.

Holding breath.

Oh, wait for it comes...

Tears.... Welling. And dripping down my cheeks.

Like a baby.

Confirmed. No Old Globe.



Moment of silent, tearful sadness and then I notice the package from my dear old friend sitting on the table. We've known each other since 1st grade and she lives across the country. What could she possibly be sending me? It's not my birthday.

The box is wrapped up like Fort Knox, but when I finally get it open...this is what is enclosed...

A card of encouragement along with a small blank journal.

How did she know???

She gave me permission to post what she wrote inside. I hope that it will be an encouragement to all of you too...that the Universe sends us just what we need at the right time. This definitely helped to soften the blow of disappointment.

How 'bout this? Just think of this as a letter from your old friend to you! Here's what she wrote...

Dear (YOU),

What's that saying? "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade?" All of your inner and outer work you have done and continue to do has a purpose, and I truly believe that hard work (which is just what you have been doing) never goes without success.

When I teach art, I often say that "sometimes the picture we intend to draw doesn't come out the way we want, see or have planned. That can be exponentially frustrating and disappointing, but it doesn't mean we should throw the picture away, or that it isn't good. It may even be possible to turn the picture into something new we hadn't imagined that we really love."

Now is your chance to embrace your amazing, smart, talented, unique, MORE-than-worthy-of-grad-school-or-Broadway-or-any-other-successful-path self and see what new ideas you have may unfold.

I am so proud of you. You are an inspiration and I hope you are proud of yourself.

Believe in yourself...Some of the best artists/performers don't have degrees, they have a strong will and dedication to the fulfillment of their ideas. You already possess these rare qualities, so allow yourself the space to shine.

I am always thinking of you and love you very much old friend.


And then I got an awesome supportive text from another friend with a slightly different kind of perspective...

Imagine you're receiving this one from a respected colleague who has been through it all and has the war-wounds to prove it!

First of all. F*^k them. It's their loss. F&#k 'em in the ear. If they don't like that f^%k 'em in the other ear. Secondly, you're past that bulls#*t. Thirdly, I am happy to talk about it. But I don't think you need mentorship. You need to trust your aesthetic. And go for it. Figure out what you want to say and scream it! Fourthly...F$$k 'em! P.S. Sounds like you are poised at the edge of discovery. Yay for you! Keep up the gallant fight sister!!!

No matter which approach appeals to you the most...Isn't it awesome to have amazing, supportive friends!?

Be grateful for your mentors, heros, champions, companions, partners, friends!!!

Hug them! Love them! Tell them how much you appreciate them right now! Without them...How could we possibly attempt to step outside of our comfort zones and dare greatly!?

There are more silver linings to come. But that's all I have time to write about for now. Thanks for reading.


"Mentoring can play an extraordinary role in cultivating the mind-set needed to take creative risks and keep operating in that anxious place where the best stuff tends to be birthed -- especially when your mentor is someone who's been where you are, lived, breathed, and danced with the same or similar-enough demons and elations, and found a way to harness them to create genius." 
- Jonathan Fields, Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Update #4: Keep Knocking On Doors

"When you're falling, dive." - Joseph Campbell

Well, this time the Juilliard door has REALLY closed...for good.

Today I was not invited to the final callback weekend. This is my second application and they only allow two.

I got the email while I was sitting at my desk at my very non-creative office day job...that I am "lucky" and "grateful" to have, but is nowhere near my passion.

So what did I decide to do when I got off of work?

  1. Went straight home.
  2. Ordered a half-rack of BBQ ribs from The Butcher Bar.
  3. Sat alone on my bedroom floor and ate myself into rotundness.
  4. Watched Melancholia on streaming Netflix.
  5. Drank a glass of white wine.
  6. Fell asleep, still in my clothes at 8:30pm.

Inspirational, right?


I wish I could tell you that I giggled at my "thanks-but-no-thanks" email, didn't take it personally in the slightest, shrugged my shoulders, and toasted the Universe with my Poland Spring water bottle.


I believe the first words out of my mouth were "Motherf*%k#r!"


I'm still working out in my head what kind of story I want to tell myself about what happened and why. None of these stories or justifications in my mind are actually true. But we humans like to make up stories to explain things and comfort our egos. (Please read "The Power of Now" for more on this.)

I am trying to remind myself that it's not the event itself, but the way we explain the event to ourselves that causes depression. And if I ask myself depressing questions, I will get depressing answers. (Please read "The Bounce Back Book" for more on this.)

Truth be told, I am in no way ready to be all happy-go-lucky about this turn of events yet. For now I am fully embracing my wallowing in self-pity and sadness. (Waaaaah Wahhhhh Pooooor Meeee!) I need to allow myself to do that. Because when it comes to emotional pain, you can run, but you can't hide. And what I am going through is NORMAL.

FEELING means your DEALING means your HEALING. I will get over it eventually, but for now I am enjoying being sad, sad, sad.


All my friends on FaceBook were super INSPIRATIONAL and ENCOURAGING yesterday! (The best part about sharing my grad school application journey online is the fantastic group of encouraging supporters that have rallied around me as a result.)

Here are some of the amazing quotes that were shared with me help me through the funk of disappointment. Hope they will be inspirational to you...more than my story of eating ribs and watching depressing movies.

(Thank you, FB friends...Hope you don't mind my sharing!)

“We are made to persist. That's how we find out who we are.” ― Tobias Wolff

"Look on every exit as an entrance somewhere else." - Tom Stoppard, "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead"

"Have the courage to go beyond other people's rules and expectations. I pray that you will live and write your own story and then be brave enough to communicate it authentically to others. People will be inspired by it, people will learn from it, and people will have the courage to change their own lives because of the example you have set." -- Maria Shriver

"Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries." -James A Michener

Their football team is dreadful anyway.

"Fuck em." - Carrie Hill

There is no one path to your goals. There is nothing about you that tells me you will not find your path.

"I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination." - Jimmy Dean

Salted caramels heal all wounds.

Johann Gottfried Von Herder said "Without inspiration the best powers of the mind remain dormant. There is a fuel in us which needs to be ignited with sparks." YOU are one of the sparks!

"If you can dream it, you can do it."- Walt Disney

"Well, I suppose I must endure the presence of 2 or 3 caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies." - The Little Prince. Those butterflies are coming, dear one.

What might feel like REJECTION IS ACTUALLY the UNIVERSE'S PROTECTION. We are being protected from something that does not serve our journey, that would interfere with our trajectory, our process, or inspiration, our growth. Trust that all is well and unfolding perfectly for our utmost growth and transcendence. Life is not happening to us; it is happening for us! Also, there is no such thing as failure. The Universe never says "no" to our queries and pursuits. It says: YES .... or.... NOT YET .... or ... NOT THIS.... because there is something much more suited for us, much more magical that if given future hindsight, we would look back at our lives now and see the infinite potential and feel overrun by gratitude.

Everything is a favor.

It will be your great story on The Tonight Show, which will go on to inspire others:)

No condolences! I truly believe, like you said, the universe IS looking out for you! It is better to have disappointment, and no regrets! So proud of your talent and courage! Another door is waiting to open for you! The right one! The best one for you!!!

Here's a few from my "archives": 
"Blessed are the flexible, for they'll never get bent out of shape."
"Earth without ART is just 'Eh' ". (Love that) 
"It is a bad plan that admits of no modifications" - Publilius Syrus
"The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been kindness, beauty and truth. The trite subjects of human efforts; possessions, outward success, and luxury have always seemed to me contemptible" - Albert Einstein.
"Who are you?, said the Caterpillar...I-I hardly know, Sir, just at present", Alice replied rather shyly, "at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have changed several times since then." - Lewis Carroll
"Cherish your visions; cherish your ideals; cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for out of them will grow all delightful conditions, all heavenly environment." - James Allen

We meet our destiny in unexpected places.

Sending big hugs to you all.

Wallow and be sad as long as you need to friends, then sing your heartache out and be happy with life just as it is.


P.S. Oh...and keep knocking on doors. One of them is bound to open eventually.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Update #3: Throw A Chair

Hi guys!

Confession: I've been procrastinating writing this post...You's my "HOW DID AUDITIONS GO THIS YEAR?" post.


I have been putting a lot of expectations on myself about how it "should be"... How this post should be "profound and inspiring" or "hilariously funny" or "heartfelt and poignant." It's probably not going to be any of those things. Sorry!

("Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good, Wilcox! You never would have started this blog if it had to be perfect! Just write SOMETHING"...I tell myself.)

In order to get me to actually sit down and write this post, I needed to let go of all of those "should" expectations and allow myself to write a boring, factual, short and simple account of what occurred at my MFA auditions this year (and how it felt).

Now... it sounds like I'm about to say that all my auditions went terrible this 4th year of applying and that's why it's been so hard to write about them! That's definitely not the case. I've just been in avoidance-mode. That's all.

Anyhoo...avoidance no more!

Here is the run-down:


Audition Location: Ripley-Grier Studios, NYC
Audition Date: Thursday, January 24, 2013
Application/Audition Fee: $55
How many times have I auditioned here?: Twice (2010 & 2013)
How'd it go?: Awesome. Felt great!
Callback?: No. (But that's okay because Old Globe doesn't have callbacks.)
What happens next?: Now just waiting to hear from them.


Audition Location: Tisch, 721 Broadway, NYC
Audition Date: Friday, January 25, 2013
Application/Audition Fee: $60
How many times have I auditioned here?: Four times (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
How'd it go?: Awesome. Felt great! Had fun.
Callback?: Yes. Made it through same-day-second-round-callbacks with Mark Wing-Davey. That's as far as you can get on the day of auditions. Yay!
What happens next?: Now just waiting to hear if I will get invited to the "final callback weekend" in March.

(Read more detailed accounts of my previous audition experiences at NYU here: 2010, 2011 and 2012.)


Audition Location: The Juilliard School, Lincoln Center Plaza, NYC
Audition Date: Saturday, January 26, 2013
Application/Audition Fee: $110
How many times have I auditioned here?: Twice (2012 & 2013)
How'd it go?: Awesome. Very emotional day. Felt really wonderful to have the opportunity to audition for them again. I had the best audition experience last year...and this year was just as fun/awesome!
Callback?: Yes. Made it through same-day-second-round-callbacks, the group-work and to a final interview at the end of the day.
What happens next?: I will receive an email tomorrow to tell me if I've been invited to the "final callback weekend" in March.

(Read a more detailed account of last year's audition experience at Juilliard here: 2012. And here is a link to my most popular post during the project, "The Juilliard Door Closes," about how it feels to NOT get accepted to your top-choice school.)


Audition Location: Yale University, New Haven, CT
Audition Date: Sunday, February 3, 2013
Application/Audition Fee: $110
How many times have I auditioned here?: Four times (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
How'd it go?: Awesome. They are always very nice.
Callback?: No.
What happens next?: No need to wait. Because I did not receive a callback, I know that I am not being considered for this year's class. (But thank you for sending me my rejection letter email today, Yale... on Valentine's day. Very sensitive. Very sensitive, indeed...Ha!)

(Read more detailed accounts of my previous audition experiences at Yale here: 2010/2011 and 2012.)

And now for FEEEEEELINGS...

My goal for this year's auditions was to challenge myself to throw a chair in EVERY audition. (Special thanks to Kevin Morales who suggested that I work in the chair throw to my Shakespeare monologue. Totally justified with the given circumstances of the play and the journey of the character in the monologue.) Still, this felt TERRIFYING to me. And that's EXACTLY why I had to do it.

It felt like a huge RISK for me every time. Which meant that something REAL was a stake in my performance!!!

Thoughts like this would run through my head...

-  What if the chair breaks? (One of them did break...first round at NYU. Yikes!)

-  What if they think I'm crazy? (So what if they do?! Would I want to attend a graduate acting program that didn't allow the students to make big/risky choices in class? NO! So if they think I'm crazy for throwing a chair, then that's probably NOT the program for me....And maybe I am a little bit crazy, anyway...just sayin'.)

-  What if they don't "like" me or think that it's not "nice" to throw a chair? (Ugh. I call this "nice girl syndrome." F@%K that! Get over yourself, Virginia! This isn't about them liking YOU in this monologue...This is about you communicating the journey of this Shakespearean character and if throwing a chair helps tell that story (which I think it did) then you'd better not be a cowardly chickens*^t and back down and be "polite" just because you're afraid of offending somebody. That said...when I did break one chair...I did apologize politely afterwards.)

Four years ago...I NEVER would have had the balls to throw a chair in an audition, MFA or otherwise. I would have talked myself out of it...and justified every possible reason why it was a terrible idea...every time. feel proud...because I not only threw a chair in every audition...I still got called back at NYU and Juilliard!!! AWESOME!

It just goes to show...Sometimes the "rules" we superimpose on ourselves are TOTAL bulls!@t and should be broken. There is no "right" way in this life. Take a RISK!!! It feels amazing to know that you can! Even if you break a will survive!!! F*~k Yeah!

(Geez, lots of expletives in this post. Perhaps I should have given a disclaimer at the beginning. This post is PG-13.... "Nice girl syndrome" strikes again. Ha!)

Anyways, that's how it went...and a little bit about how I felt about it.

So check back with me for Update #4 soon...very soon...since I'll be getting an email from Juilliard tomorrow.


Thank you for reading....Thank you for all of your good energy and well-wishes during my auditions. It was all deeply felt and much appreciated.

Sending sooooo much love to all of you courageous people who are on this journey too!

Dream BIG...and do not give up!


"Look where you have ended up right now. This is exactly where you need to be, so don't resist. Pay attention to what is showing up for you and use that as the guidance for where your next step lies. If it does not feel good and expansive, you have work to do It's not about them and what they decide or do. It is about you and your process, so take responsibility for that. Be flexible and don't blame." - Lena Stevens, The Power Path

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Update #2: Going For It Again...And Again...And Again...And Again

...the transition.
...the process.
...that what is happening is right.
...that spirit and your heart know best even if the mind questions.
...that you will survive and flourish.
...that you are powerful.
...that you can create what you need.
...that it is all good.
And ACCEPT the present moment just as it is...imperfectly perfect in every way.

Hello, my friends!

My 2013 auditions for MFA acting schools begins TOMORROW!


I just have one small favor to ask...

It would mean soooooo much to me if you would keep me in your thoughts/prayers and send me some of your positive energy and well-wishes on the following mornings...

Thursday, Jan 24 = Old Globe MFA audition
Friday, Jan 25 = NYU Grad Acting audition
Saturday, Jan 26 = Juilliard MFA audition
Sunday, Feb 3 = Yale MFA audition

All of your collective supportive thoughts make all the difference in the world. I truly believe that.

And just so you know where my head is at these matter what the "outcome" of these auditions (acceptance or no) I am trusting that it'll all be for my greater good.

These past three years of NOT making it into grad school have been some of the most profoundly challenging and transformative of my life. I would not change a thing.

That said...I'm going in there and giving the universe another opportunity to open one of these doors for me. I'll keep knocking until I'm ready to move on. So for now, I'm giving it another shot!

Let's DO this!!!

Sending best wishes to everyone who is getting out there and auditioning this year! Be your brilliant selves!

XOs to all.


Timing is everything. It really is...
Just because it worked yesterday, doesn't mean it'll work tomorrow.
Just because it didn't work yesterday, doesn't mean it won't work tomorrow.
- Joseph Jaffe (